The Value to Life; Society vs. Self Today, our society assigns the value to human life based on which life is actually more appealing to them. In other words, society places a price tag on a man’s life. A person is judged by society on the value of their life based on certain factors and aspects that are irrelevant. People realize the true value to their lives when they are in encounter with situations that may take it away. And because the value of life is so precious, society should determine its value in different and better ways that appreciate its value.
People put more value on their lives when they come close to knocking on the doors of death. For instance, those living with terminal illnesses like cancer, have a whole different perception of their life and all of life in general in comparison to someone who is living a completely healthy life. In his autobiography, Lance Armstrong said, “When I was sick, I saw more beauty and triumph and truth in a single day than I ever did in a bike race, but they were human moments, not miraculous ones. Lance Armstrong is one of the most successful and accomplished figures in the world, yet even to him, a day of simply living one more day means more than any of his accomplishments while living with cancer. Having everything may make one value their life in greater depth but the fear of losing that everything they have worked for makes them value it even more however. While a person may assign the value to their life based on the obstacles they have overcame and learned from, society’s way of determining the value to a human life is not nearly as sensitive.
Society assigns the value of life under the terms of which life is actually worth more in dollars. Its unfortunate but there are too many instances in life where one person’s life is considered with higher value than others simply because of what they have and what they are willing to show for it. I remember a time when a family member of mine was rushed to the emergency room only to be turned away because he did not have any medical insurance. Does that mean his life has less value than someone who does have life insurance?
He deserved to be seen by a doctor just as much as the next with or without the papers. Or in another case scenario, a young rich blonde girl of a wealthy known family becomes kidnapped on the same day as a daughter of a drug addict in the projects, who would have more publicity in the search for their return? The blonde girl’s family has more money; therefore, can afford to pay their way to more publicity time, bestowing more value on her life.
It is not something that you think of everyday, or is easily realized, but our society holds value on our life only through the materialistic things. For instance, after the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, thousands of innocent lives were lost as a result. Due to the fact that there were so many families to compensate and to prevent the airlines from going out of business, the federal government enforced a limit on how much each family would receive in compensation.
These numbers were given in an article called “What Is a Life Worth? ” in Time magazine written by Amanda Ripley. “First, the government will estimate how much a victim would have earned over his or her lifetime had the planes never crashed. That means a broker’s family will qualify for a vastly higher award than a window washer’s family. ” This quote shows that in the eyes of society, the value of life is not equal because if that was the case, everyone affected from the crash would have received the same amount in compensation.
The only difference between the broker and the window washer is how much money their bank account holds, but in this case, that is the only thing that matters in determining their value of life. When assigning the value of life, society overlooks the character of the person or what purpose they served in life. Since treating every man equal in America is something we try to abide our lives by, the value of someone’s life should be determined on better terms.
The value of someone’s life should be determined by the merit that person has earned throughout their life. In the book of proverbs it states that “We must treat each man on his worth and merits as a man. We must see that each is given a square deal, because he is entitled to no more and should receive no less. ” According to this quote, a man must be treated on his worth which is something that he must earn since every man is given the same chances and opportunities not more or less than others.
When people are born, they are all given equal chances, but the different circumstances that can occur in each person’s life along the way can determine who has the ability to overcome the obstacles, making that person earn a certain merit that decides the value to their life. In conclusion, a person’s value of their own life is something that is overlooked at first. People do not realize that life is something that can be taken away so quickly that sometimes you cannot even grasp it. Life gains value when it is almost lost. When people have ragedies strike their lives, such as being diagnosed with a terminal disease, they realize how much life means to them because they feel the end approaching. They begin to realize that all their life, they have worked for something and just like that, it can be taken away. Our society plays a large role in how value is put on life. Society determines the value of life unfairly and none biased on the emotional aspects a life may pertain. Society judges a human life based on their materialistic earnings rather than their merit earnings. A rich man’s life is more valuable than a poor man’s under the rules of society.